The Supreme Court has granted interim bail for six weeks to AAP leader and former Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain who was lodged in jail since May 2022 in a money laundering case. The bench comprising Justices JK Maheshwari and PS Narasimha granted interim bail on medical grounds, allowing Satyendar Jain to get treated in a private hospital of his choice.
The Supreme Court also said that Satyendar Jain’s bail would be subject to the trial court’s conditions. Furthermore, the court directed that the accused AAP leader not go to the media “to make any statement on any issue.” The court also directed that he shall not influence witnesses.
Satyendar Jain’s counsel Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted that he is seeking bail on medical grounds and not on the merits of the case. He said, “I have very strong grounds which I’m not touching today. I’m seeking on medical grounds today. Rest you can examine later.”
The Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) counsel Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju contended that the accused AAP leader should be examined by medical professionals from AIIMS or RML Delhi, raising doubts about the authenticity of medical certifications from Lok Nayak Hospital Delhi. The counsel argued that Satyendar Jain was the Health Minister in the Delhi government and that the medical records can be fudged.
The ASG argued, “He was the Health Minister, these hospitals were under him. The medical records can be fudged. Let him be examined by a panel of doctors from AIIMS or Delhi. If the report is in his favour, I will concede.”
When the court asked the ASG about his lack of confidence in the Delhi Police’s records, he replied that the previous conduct of the accused AAP leader had raised doubts. The ASG pointed out that Satyendar Jain withdrew his application for medical bail when the ED argued that medical professionals from AIIMS examine the former Minister. The ASG submitted, “He may have a genuine case, I will concede in that case. But history is that he feigns illness, gets fake reports, the moment we want independent evaluation- he withdraws…”
Meanwhile, Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the accused AAP leader had developed muscular atrophy. He said, “The man has developed muscular atrophy. He has become a skeleton. Has lost 35 kgs.”
Satyendar Jain: The ‘conceptualiser, visualiser and executor’ in the case
On April 6, the Delhi High Court rejected bail for Satyendar Jain after noting that he is an influential person with the potential to tamper with evidence. The Court, based on the witness testimonies, said that “Satyendar Kumar Jain is the conceptualizer, visualizer and executor of the entire operation and his being aided and abated by Vaibhav Jain and Ankush Jain.”
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma observed, “Thus, taking into account the totality of the facts, the petitioners at this stage cannot be held to have cleared the twin conditions of PMLA or the triple test.” The court was hearing an appeal against the trial court’s dismissal of Satyendar Jain’s bail application vide dated November 17, 2022.
The trial court’s order held that prima facie Satyendar Jain “used the process of sending the proceeds of crime in the form of cash to Kolkata-based entry operators and thereafter, had obtained accommodation entries in the aforementioned companies against the sale of shares and thereafter, bought the shares back without any consideration,” to conceal the source of cash generated by Satyendar Jain.
The ASG opposed Satyendar Jain’s bail application before the Delhi High Court and said that he “should not be enlarged on bail as he is a very influential and powerful man. He continues to be a sitting Minister in Govt of NCT Delhi and was also holding several portfolios such as Health & Family Welfare, Industries, Home, Power Water, Urban Development and Irrigation & flood Control, etc.”
The ASG submitted, “He submits that the two entry operators namely, Rajinder Bansal and Jivender Mishra have expressed that Sh. Satyendar Jain being an influential politician will create a danger to them and their family and have therefore requested not to be confronted by Satyendar Jain.” The Delhi High Court, accepting the ASG’s contention, said, “The petitioner Satyendar Kumar Jain is an influential person and has a potential to tamper with the evidence as indicated by his conduct during the custody.”
The Delhi High Court said that there is nothing illegal or perverse in the trial court’s order rejection of Satyendar Jain’s bail application and stated, “I do not find any illegality or perversity in such order. The order rejecting the bail applications are well-reasoned orders based on material on record.”